On Saturday October 18, 2014 OLMC welcomed students, staff and families from over 25 independent girls’ schools across NSW for the Festival of Speech, an initiative of the Association of Heads of Independent Girls’ Schools (AHIGS).
The Festival began in 1996 and was formerly known as the Independent Girls Schools Speaking Competition. Today the Festival continues to be hosted annually by an AHIGS member school. Each year, approximately 25 schools participate and students have the opportunity to perform in the areas of poetry, prose readings, current affairs and religious and ethical questions. The Festival is open to girls from years seven to eleven and offers opportunities for skill development, personal expression, teamwork and friendship.
Principal Stephen Walsh says the College was both privileged and honoured to host the 2014 AHIGS Festival of Speech in this special 125th anniversary year of the College. “Given the College’s history of championing strong young women; marking this important milestone by providing a premier forum for girls to express themselves is very appropriate. The forum allowed many young women to share with us their voice, ideas and opinions; they influenced audiences and challenged our own thoughts on a whole range of topics and issues.”
Over 100 OLMC staff, students and parents volunteered to help on the day by timekeeping, chairing, assisting with food and beverage preparation and serving the BBQ, as well as acting as guides and general helpers at this festival event which saw almost 1000 people come through the OLMC gates
On Sunday August 24, Mercy Girl Alex Hulley competed in the Women's Hammer Throw final at the Youth Olympics in China and won a Silver Medal!
In the heats, Alex threw a personal best and qualified in first position for the Hammer Throw final - ahead of 15 other competitors.
A huge congratulations to Alex on this fantastic achievement!
In an outstanding performance, Year 12 student Anita Donovan has achieved what is one of the pinnacles of public speaking by winning the 2014 State final of the Senior division of Rostrum Voice of Youth.
The event was held on the first day of the winter holidays at the Legislative Assembly chambers of NSW Parliament House.
Anita displayed remarkable poise and talent to defeat the other finalists, each of whom had proven their ability by reaching this level of a competition that is recognised nationally as the most challenging of all public speaking competitions for students.
For the sixth year in a row OLMC hosted the KidsView Conference on Wednesday May 21, 2014. The social justice conference aims to help students explore the complex reality of poverty and encourage them to action.
The conference is organised by Bahay Tuluyan (House of Welcome), a Filipino non-government organisation that works with children who have been abused, exploited and neglected.
Conference facilitator Catherine Scerri, an Australian volunteer who has worked in the Philippines with street children for over nine years, says the conference is a chance to engage young people to become motivated to learn more about the world and challenge them to build a socially just world.
At the conference, Mercy Girls explored complex issues of work, education, health and food for people living in poverty by participating in, with students from other schools, a variety of workshops led by passionate young people.
The OLMC Community has banded together to raise over $2000 for the Typhoon Haiyan Appeal. Donations came in from generous students, parents and staff who contributed in a number of ways including to a sausage sizzle.
This money will be sent to the Australian Red Cross Tyhoon Haiyan Appeal to help:• provide emergency relief, rehabilitation and recovery assistance to communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan (including the Philippines and Vietnam)
• support water and sanitation, shelter and health initiatives in affected areas
• send specialist aid workers to assist in initial assessments, relief, recovery and longer term disaster management operations
• support Red Cross longer term programs and the work of our Red Cross Red Crescent partners in the affected areas.
Students, families and staff also gave generously to the annual St Vincent de Paul Hampers initiative, enabling the College to create 58 Christmas hampers to be given to families in need. It is through the generosity and dedication of students, parents and staff that this annual event remains so successful and it is a great way of reaching out to people in the local community who are facing difficulties at Christmas.
On behalf of the Sisters of Mercy and the College Board we are very pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Stephen Walsh as the new Principal of OLMC Parramatta. We are confident that Stephen will bring to the role a deep faith, a strong understanding of and passion for the education of girls and a commitment to the mission of the Sisters of Mercy.
With a career in Catholic education of nearly 30 years, Stephen is an experienced educator with leadership experience spanning 15 years, including significant time in girls schools. In 2006 he was appointed to his current role as Principal of St Joseph’s Catholic College Gosford, a girls’ school in the Diocese of Broken Bay.
Stephen holds the qualifications of Master of Education (Curriculum) and Bachelor of Education. He currently is on the Board of Directors for Stella Maris College, Manly and is the President of the Association of Affiliated Josephite Secondary Schools in Australia/New Zealand.
This Principal’s position at OLMC, attracted an unusually high number of very well qualified applicants. The selection committee, that included a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Board and an experienced principal from another independent girls’ school, assisted by an external consultant, conducted an extensive recruitment process and concluded that Stephen Walsh was clearly the best person for the role. We were looking for the person who demonstrated the commitment, passion and capabilities to continue to build OLMC as an outstanding high performing girls’ school in the Mercy tradition.
Stephen Walsh will be the ninth Principal of OLMC and will bring an ideal combination of professional leadership abilities and a strong background in curriculum and contemporary pedagogy. He will commence at OLMC on 21 October and will work with the current Principal, Mrs Kitty Guerin until her retirement at the end of December. Stephen will formally take up the role as Principal in 2014.
We take this opportunity to congratulate Stephen on his appointment to such a significant role and invite you to welcome him into the OLMC community.
Catherine Ryan rsm
Congregation Leader, Sisters of Mercy Parramatta
Chair of the Board, OLMC Parramatta